Emirates Air Line, the UK's first urban cable car, has been launched, bringing a new and innovative way to cross London's River Thames.
New Zealand visitors can now take a "flight" up to 90 metres above one of the world's most famous waterways, capturing dramatic views of the City, Canary Wharf, historic Greenwich, the Thames Barrier and the Olympic Park.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, and Emirates Airline President Tim Clark joined Peter Hendy CBE, London's Transport Commissioner, on the first official Emirates Air Line flight last night (NZ time).
The new river crossing in east London can be used by pedestrians, wheelchair users and cyclists. Every 30 seconds, they can board one of the 34 cabins from two brand new terminals, Emirates Greenwich Peninsula and Emirates Royal Docks. A journey across the 1.1 kilometre cable line takes up to 10 minutes.
"It is exhilarating to see the Emirates Air Line take flight for the first time today," said Tim Clark. "It reflects Emirates' philosophy of connecting people through exciting, innovative and shared experiences, and will provide residents, commuters and visitors alike with a unique perspective of London."
Emirates' 36 million sponsorship of the cable car project was announced in October last year in an agreement between the airline, the Mayor's office and Transport for London (TfL).
"The Emirates Air Line is a stunning addition to London's transport network, providing a much needed new connection across the Thames," said Mayor of London, Boris Johnson. "I am sure the Emirates Air Line is now set to be a must-see destination in its own right, giving people the chance to drink in breath-taking panoramic views.
"Crucially, the Emirates Air Line supports my ambitious plans to revive the neighbouring areas, which have been neglected for decades, creating jobs for Londoners and stimulating growth."
The main construction of the Emirates Air Line, led by Mace, has involved more than 1,500 people on sites both sides of the river, helping to deliver the newest addition to the capital's transport network. Mace Macro will employ more than 50 people to operate the scheme.
The Emirates Air Line knits into London's existing transport network providing an interchange with the Jubilee line and Docklands Light Railway. It will be open seven days a week and passengers can buy their boarding passes from vending machines or the ticket offices at both Terminals.
The UK remains one of Emirates' most popular markets with hundreds of thousands of passengers flying with the airline to the UK each year.
Emirates' convenient links to the UK from New Zealand will enable these passengers to experience the Emirates Air Line first-hand, connecting them to the unique experiences London has to offer. All four daily Emirates flights from New Zealand provide direct connections at Dubai to London and include the only A380 superjumbo service from Auckland to London.
Emirates also directly serves Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle and Glasgow, with connections at Dubai from New Zealand.
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